Title: 'The Hands & Voices Advocacy and Support Training (ASTra) – Laying the Foundation to Support Educational Excellence for Young Children who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing'
Track: 7 - Family Perspectives and Support
Keyword(s): education, advocacy, accessbility
Learning Objectives:
  1. explain how children who are D/HH at 'grade level' may still be eligible for special education services
  2. Discuss educational placement opportunities based on an individual student's needs.
  3. Identify assessment and evaluation strategies for children transitioning from early intervention to public school.


This session will feature the foundational elements needed to ensure that families with young children identified in the EHDI system are prepared for the education system, and for professionals who are preparing families to advocate for educational success. this session will touch on some of the topics that have emerged with the current generation of young children who are D/HH entering Part B of the School system include: Eligibility, appropriate accomodations, Supporting students who are at academic level, school placement etc. Laying the groundwork through the IFSP Communication Plan, standards for communication accessibility, transition considerations, and IDEA specific legislation for D/HH students, this workshop will address WHAT families/professionals need to know, and HOW to advocate effectively – regardless of the communication/language needs of the child. This session will also introduce the Hands & Voices ASTra Program, and 'levels of recognition’ opportunities for those who want to be trained to advocate for others. Participants are encouraged to order and review the 'Educational Advocacy for Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: The Hands & Voices Guidbook (2013) prior to attending the workshop. (available at www.handsandvoices.org)
Presentation: 1383JanetDesGeorges.pdf

Handouts: Handout is not Available
Janet DesGeorges - Primary Presenter,Co-Presenter
Hands & Voices, Headquarters
     Credentials: N/A
      Janet DesGeorges lives in Boulder, Colorado and is mom to Sara, who is hard of hearing. She is a co-founder of Hands & Voices, serving as the Executive Director since September 2011, and as the E.D. of the Flagship chapter of Hands & Voices in Colorado for 10 years prior to that. Ms. DesGeorges is the author on the chapter for Family Support in the NCHAM e-Book, the co-author of the book Educational Advocacy for Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: The Hands & Voices Guidebook, and many other publications. Ms. DesGeorges received a program certificate from the MCH Public Health Leadership Institute in 2011 at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Her areas of interest include Leadership Development for parents; Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Systems; Parent/Professional partnerships in Quality Improvement processes.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Cheryl DeConde Johnson - Co-Presenter
     Credentials: Ed.D.
      Cheryl DeConde Johnson, Ed.D., Board Certified in Audiology with Pediatric Audiology Specialty Certification, provides consulting services for educational audiology and deaf education specializing in program evaluation and development and state deaf education service delivery and accountability systems through her practice, The ADEvantage. Previously she provided technical assistance and leadership in audiology and deaf education as a state consultant with the Colorado Department of Education. Cheryl has also been employed as a school-based audiologist, an early intervention provider, and a coordinator of a public school program serving deaf and hard of hearing students. She currently holds adjunct faculty appointments at the University of Colorado, the University of Northern Colorado, and the University of Arizona. Cheryl is a co-founder and President of the Board of Directors for Hands & Voices. Cheryl has many publications including co-author of the Educational Audiology Handbook, 2nd Ed., and provides workshops and consultation worldwide.

Financial -

Nonfinancial -
Lisa Kovacs - Co-Presenter
Hands & Voices
     Credentials: Coordinator, Guide By Your Side, Hands & Voices and Indiana Hands & Voices
      Lisa is coordinator of the Guide By Your Side (GBYS) program for Hands & Voices where she provides support to state GBYS programs; she is also the coordinator for the Indiana GBYS program. Lisa has 4 children, including a son with hearing loss.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.